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Discussion in 'Ask Michael Dimin' started by Si-bob, Jan 6, 2002.

  1. Hey Mike

    i was just wondering about capo's...i saw reichard Bona using one for a chordal piece, and it got me to thinking, what exactly does it achieve, i realise it would allow u to play an open string (depending on your position) therefore giving your fingers a little less work, and that it also reduces the height of the strings for wen your playing up the neck, making it easier to fret multiple notes at a time.

    Just wondered on your opinions on the use of capo's etc


  2. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    The capo's main purpose is to change the tuning of a guitar to allow one to use open chords to change keys. There are also capos that allow you to change only the tuning of certain strings. I do not know if they make them for bass.

    It only really affects the open strings.

  3. A company called Kyser, make 'quick release' capos which fit a 4 string bass just right, i'm gonna get one and put it over the top 4 strings of my 5er (ADGC) and experiment a bit. This works quite nicely cos i'm finding it easier then i thought to play chords using all 5 strings.
    I'm actually currrenyly working on transcribing Rachmaniov's Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini (love that piece), so hopefull the book will help me along with that
    cheers mike

  4. richard bona uses a jim dunlop trigger capo.

    i have one too, and have experiemented with capo's and key changes.

    it works rather well, fitting over all five strings of my narrow spacing overwater ( which i love :) )

    and C - A on my TRB 5 fretless.

    it's worth having a go, the more you experiment the more fun you have and you also increase your technical ability.

  5. Kyser make a capo that is the same design as dunlops (trigger), and in my opinion r better made etc

  6. you may be right :)

    i wasn't trying to say that Jim dunlops are better, come to think about it, perhaps it was a similar design but by another company??

    who knows, it just looked kinda familiar ;)

    anyway have fun

  7. Dave Castelo

    Dave Castelo

    Apr 19, 2000
    i got a cheapo guitar capo and thanks to Si Bob i saw the light and now i use it alot on chordal stuff (cuz i have HIGH action and the capo lowers the strings a lot)
  8. hey dave
    glad my suggestion has helped u
    good luck

  9. bcarll


    Oct 16, 2001
    Hey Guys

    After getting into the "Chordal Approach" to playing thanks to Mike, I also thought a capo would be a good addition to my gig bag. Not for changing the key like I used to do on accoustical guitar but just to lower the strings. Bought a cheap ellastic strap type capo yesterday and it really helps get those strings down making the fingering on my Ibanez real easy. When playing on the 12 th fret I put it on the 9th fret area. I would suggest this to anyone trying to play that far down on the neck. I also tried out different basses yesterday to see what their string height was in that 12th fret area. Fender, Gibson,Yamaha,Peavey all had high strings in that area and on some basses it was difficult to slide into that 17th fret with it being so thick in the neck/body juncture. I found Fender was especially thick in that area. Made me proud of my Ibanez and it's thin neck design right down to the 17th.
    Thanks Mike for introducing us to your style of playing and hope you don't mind us modifying things a little.

  10. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    I have always advocated low action and nearly no relief on the bass. I just never thought of using a capo to create those conditions. I really appreciate the commitment you guys have made to furthering the technique. Kudos to you all.

  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Isn't it rather a case of avoiding learning how to get a good setup? ;)

    It just sounds weird to me - if I wanted low action, then I would lower it - not stick some piece of gear over the neck :confused:

    I really can't see the point of this - I can only see it - like a lot things I hear talked about on TB - as an excuse to buy more stuff and avoid learning how to do it properly! :D
  12. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    I have had a number of students whoxe basses were so mediocre that really fine setup was a problem. I note that your Tobias would probably never suffer from that problem, but I have students whose Squier basses could NEVER really be set up to play well

  13. Bruce....
    if your in a rock band.. or a metal band or something, your not gonna want a low action are you........then u come home, and feel like playing some chordal stuff, many people can't afford two basses with different setups and don't feel like changing there action just cos they wanna play some chordal stuff for an hour!!!!
    and like mike said, the capo is for more then just string height etc
    open your mind a bit!

  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well I think that people who can only think in terms of gear are the ones who need their minds opened a bit! I play all sorts of music - Cuban, Brazilian, Funk, Jazz, etc etc. But I wouldn't think of changing anything about my gear to play different types of music. My approach, my technique , what notes I choose, etc . - YES . Differnet gear - why!??

    Reading through TalkBass you are always aware of this unequal focus on gear as being the solution to all your problems! So - it's like - if only I had Flea's bass and amp I could play exactlly like Flea! :rolleyes:

    If I only had this bit of gear then I could do -- xxxxx - insert whatever!

    I think if people stopped focusing on gear, they could do so much more and open their minds to vastly more possibilities!
  15. Now on some of those accounts, i agree with u....if someone was to go buy an entire new bass cos they wanted to play chordal stuff, i'd laugh...but wen its simpley a matter of a $20 capo to help them get around the inconvenience of changing the setup of their existing bass backwards and fowards constantly, i think they can be excused.

  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well...it's probably not worth arguing about; but I think it's like the "thin end of the wedge"!

    One day it's a $20 capo, then it'll be - I NEED to know what distortion pedal Flea uses on around the world? Then it'll be - what bass does Flea use on this album. Then it'll be how can I get my setup to sound like Flea - do I need a new amp or can I get my 15w Crate to sound like that. Then it's the slippery slope, to GAS and lying in the gutter unable to feed your family, but with an overwhelming urge to find out the difference between an overdrive and a distortion pedal - just in case you might be missing out on the vital component to "your sound"! :D
  17. fortunatly i'm not like that, although i agree that some people are. I'm into finding my own tone, and gear that works well for me, and i'm really happy with my setup at the mo...however,if i found something that really catches my ear, and that really enhances my sound, getting it closer to whats in my head, i'm gonna get it. But i wouldn't buy something just cos an artist uses it!